New Year’s Resolutions for Concordia

Someone was naughty this year… Graphic Eric Bent

It is, I’m told, that time of year again.

There’s a chill in the air, twinkly lights line the houses and blood is actively pouring from the ears of anyone who works in Christmas-friendly retail. And while most of us will finish finals and begin the inevitable self-reflection that comes with a new year, those most deserving of coal could probably use a little guidance.

So we at The Link have taken it upon ourselves to nudge some of our friends in the right direction.

This year, we’re giving Concordia the best gift (besides working escalators) of all: a pre-packaged, ready-to-go list of New Year’s resolutions. And this one’s not like the Shapiro Report, guys—so don’t pick and choose.

To our Administration:

— Finish what you started. From water fountains to escalators, many of last year’s promised plans ought to be further along by now. Bottled water, for example, should be gone from vending machines by the end of the year. Where are the new water fountains we were promised?

— Get us to class on time. This year has seen a significant increase in shuttle bus wait time, which means long lines and late students. It also doesn’t help that many drivers seem to prefer the scenic route no matter what time of day it is. Does anyone else wonder why they leave the Loyola campus, drive around, and fifteen minutes later pass by it again? And while the Turcot’s not Montreal’s best asset, it does cut down travel time quite a bit.

— Overhaul the food system. It’s really gross and is losing you money anyway.

To our Student Union:

— Do something. You promised to fight tuition hikes, and halfway through your mandate, not much has been accomplished on that front. Instead, internal drama has taken centre stage and we’ve lost a ton of the momentum since Nov. 10. It’s time to make uncomfortable decisions and move forward as a union. At the start of her term, CSU President Lex Gill said “failure is not an option” in regards to the tuition battle. It’d be nice to see some of that resolve in action.

— When you do something, make sure it matters. Having students agree in a by-election that tuition hikes suck is great, but doesn’t change much. It’s not about symbolic gestures and overuse of the word ‘democracy’ anymore. We need strategic planning that actually takes into account how difficult this fight is. It’s going to take a lot more than 1,288 students checking a “yes” box to force Charest into, or out of, anything.

— Follow through on the rest of your mandate. Where is the student space committee, new food options and real-time online budget updates? Get ‘er done.

— Play your part. You are a big deal at this school, control a lot of money, have a lot of power and have the potential to make big changes that have a huge impact. Don’t let it get to your heads. Your relationship with students, the administration, the public and the media matters—take it more seriously and present yourselves properly and professionally.

To our Board of Governors:

— What good set of New Year’s resolutions would be complete without a promise to hit the gym more? Only in this case, it’s a metaphorical gym where the fat is the top administrators’ bloated salaries and the treadmill is a reasonable Board of Governors cutting back on that.

— Find a president that will last more than two years and has a bit of vision. It would also be nice if this school could stop handing out millions of dollars in severance packages. Let’s find someone who won’t cut and run. Deal?

— Play nice. Concordia has a terrible reputation. And whether we like it or not, bad governance has a lot to do with that. I know that students are “ticking you off,” but it might not be so terrible to listen to their ideas once in a while. Filming meetings and allowing larger audiences might actually show people outside this school that the Board is working on that whole contempt issue we have.

— Just get rid of the Chair; it will seriously make everything work better. Peter Kruyt is the source of contempt on high and everybody knows it, which is why there was a unanimous call for him to step down last year. He agreed, so he should get moving. Soon.

It’s been a turbulent year for Concordia, and next year might shape up to be just as crazy. And while 2011 is coming to a close, we are only halfway through the academic calendar and still have the opportunity to shape up and do some pretty amazing things.

It all depends on our friends at the top, and what they do (or don’t) follow through on. So if the presidents, the BoD, the admin and the union don’t want be crushed under a coal avalanche, it’s about time for them to do what they’ve been elected or appointed for.